International Men’s Day is celebrated globally every November 19th. It is a day set asideto celebrate men and their positive roles in the society. It’s also a day set aside to raise awareness on various challenges which men experience. International Men’s Day encourages the positive expected behavior of men in the society.
The International Men’s Day was founded as an answer to the frequently asked question which people ask with straight faces. The question “Who’s standing up for the men”? A question which was officially given voice to around 1960 in order to correct an uneven situation, or probably strike a balance with the International Women’s Day which is being celebrated every March 8. At that time the agitation grew in both private and public settings which lead to series of dialogue and planning which took years. At first, it was rumored that February 10 will be the day, but that never happened.
Furthermore, on November 19, 1999, a history professor at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago, Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, officially reinitialized the International Men’s Day. This year’s (19 November, 2019) International Men’s Day marks 20 years since it was founded. The celebration of International Men’s Day today, also makes it 27 years since the first International Men’s Day Celebration which was held in Malta.
The concept of International Men’s Day
The concept of International Men’s day was designed to portray some basic facts which among others includes:
- Expose incidents of increasing male abuse in the society
- Focus on Men’s Welfare and Vitality
- Celebrate men’s positive and unequivocal impact in the society
- Advocate for good male role model
- Encourage gender equality and promote an unbiased relationship among genders
- Point out discrimination against men
- To create a better and peaceful world for people to live in
- Reduce high suicide rates among men
Now, it’s important to note that today being November 19, also marks World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day, which is a day set aside globally to inspire actions to combat the world’s sanitation problems. An act which is done in order to help achieve sustainable developmental goals that promises for all by 2030. It’s said that “A toilet is not just a toilet, but also a life-saver, opportunity-maker and dignity-protector”. We all believe that irrespective of where we are and who we are, sanitation is our human right. Yet, today, over 4.2 billion people exist without a controlled sanitation system.
On a lighter but more optimistic note, a friend of mine just asked me: We (men) have been clamoring for a voice and finally got this one, which is International Men’s Day, why on earth would it be celebrated the same day with “World Toilet Day”?
Come to think of it, we have so many remarkable days for women or girl-child, like International Women’s Day, International Day of the Girl-Child, International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilations, International Day for Women and Girl in Science, among so many others. There are also free days too, why fix it same day with International Men’s Day? I really think it’s kind of ‘not-cool’ to celebrate International Men’s Day with World Toilet Day, considering how we (Nigerians) see the term ‘Toilet’.
Being a man especially in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, means being a warrior, a protector, a hero, a father, and a husband. It entails strength, stoicism, upholding integrity, honour, commitment, selfless service, among others. Today, it’s good to take a moment and celebrate masculinity. Appreciating the extraordinary and unspoken sacrifices men make in our lives, for the good of the world.
Happy International Men’s Day to all the wonderful men out there!!
That is my view, what’s yours? Feel free to drop your opinion or complementary messages to the men in the comment box.